When Luke Scicluna and Stacey Bennett witnessed a couple sitting through a restaurant dinner on their devices, not uttering a word to each other, it sparked a brilliant, bookish project.
The Way We Have Fun
The Way We Have Fun is a rhyming story which will have parents and kids thinking about how they use their devices – and what quality time together might mean for them.
Luke and Stacey wrote this book together, hoping it would encourage families to rethink how they use their phones and tablets when they’re together and strike a balance that allows for screen time and free time.
The pacy text, fun adventures and lurking racoon make this book lots of fun for kids and parents, and it’s packed with brilliant how-to-have-fun together inspiration too!
“The Way We Have Fun focuses on Chris – an energetic little guy who’s gearing up for an awesome family holiday. Fishing rod and binoculars in hand, he has high hopes – but things don’t turn out to be as fun as what he expected. While Chris takes in the beautiful views – (and sees a few scenes no one would ever believe are true!) – his family is constantly checking emails, taking selfies, plugged into music and texting.”
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Do you serve and return?
Not sure if this push to reduce kids’ use of screen time is a bit overworked? Paediatrician Jenny Radesky – who wrote the screen time guidelines for the American Academy of Pediatrics – says technology truly does interfere with vital development in kids.
“Research shows that screen time interferes with fundamental factors in healthy child development: sleep, healthy eating, and so-called ‘serve and return’ moments between parents and children, in which parents respond to babies seeking assurance and connection with eye contact, smiles, and conversation, and which help lay the foundations of baby’s brains,” Jenny told Quartz Media in the wake of her speech at the Truth About Tech Conference on kids’ digital wellbeing.
“A happy medium”
With kids’ screen addiction top-of-mind for many parents, The Way We Have Fun is a reminder that using technology carefully can pay dividends.
Luke said they’re not about rejecting technology altogether, but simply being aware that there are lots of non-digital adventures to be had.
“We’re about balance – there’s a happy medium out there that’s worth discovering.”
Stacey agreed, noting that there are some rites of passage modern kids might be missing out on in this age of swipe and tap.
“Children today are exposed to some amazing technology which makes them lucky, but I’d be pretty sad if my kids didn’t have the chance to play with autumn leaves, neighbourhood friends and discarded refrigerator boxes, too. It’s these things that helped shape my imagination and have given me the greatest memories.”
The Way We Have Fun is available at Dymocks, Readings Books and Booktopia – or at the authors’ website – for $17.95.
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